The NFL Draft is over, but here are some big stories to keep an eye on.1.
Eagles get their first big return from injury with DeMarco Murray, DeSean Jackson, and Riley Cooper all back in the fold.
The Eagles are back in contention for the NFC East, but they’ll need to win out over the Vikings in order to avoid the worst start in franchise history.2.
Lions make another huge leap in the playoffs with an undefeated regular season, but the NFC North remains wide open.
Detroit won’t clinch a playoff spot until Week 14, but this team will look better after a season-high seven-game winning streak.3.
Bengals beat up on Browns for first time since 2008, and they’re the hottest team in the AFC North.
Andy Dalton’s hot start, and rookie offensive coordinator Hue Jackson’s decision to use a lot of power-running, have the Bengals in a good position to challenge for a playoff berth.4.
Texans are playing with fire after a disappointing start, but have bounced back with a tough loss to the Bengals.
They’ll need a solid showing in Week 15 to lock down a playoff position.5.
Lions are poised to break the all-time playoff scoring record, thanks to their first three wins in a row.
They’re just 1-3 since, but their defense will be tough to replace.6.
Ravens have been a force all year and are still looking to get back to the playoffs, but need a big win in the next three games to push them over the edge.7.
Panthers have lost four straight, but haven’t lost since Week 3.
Carolina is a contender, but a loss in Week 14 would put it in serious trouble for a spot in the wild-card round.8.
Panthers QB Cam Newton will have his hands full against the Saints.
They’ve been great on the road this year, but if the Saints can hold them to under 30 points, they’ll be hard to beat.9.
Falcons keep rolling after a rough start to the season.
Atlanta has won eight of its last 10 and looks to bounce back after a bad start to their season.10.
Eagles keep rolling, but it’s hard to see them winning a game against the Jets.
They haven’t won in Philadelphia since 2012, and a win in Week 16 would put them back in position to take a playoff place.11.
Bengals hold off a late surge to take the division lead.
Andy Reid has been in charge, and the defense has been dominant.12.
Panthers make a huge leap and are poised for a big upset in Week 17.
The Panthers are looking to keep up their momentum from a disappointing opener to the year.13.
Broncos defense has given up a league-high 3,935 yards, but don’t let that fool you: Denver has been one of the league’s better defenses in terms of scoring defense.
The Broncos have only allowed 28.3 points per game and rank second in the NFL.14.
Ravens are in a battle for first place with the Steelers and Bengals in the NFC South, and Baltimore should be able to pull away in the division after a tough start.15.
Chargers beat up and outplayed the Panthers in Week 1, but things are looking up in Week 2.
The Chargers will be a contender if they keep playing like that.16.
Browns lose their first game in franchise records six straight, and are a tough team to beat in the first round.
They might not be able go far with a win over the Bills, but beating the Titans in Week 11 would give them the best chance at the playoffs.17.
Chiefs make it back to a playoff picture after being eliminated in the Wild Card round by the Bengals, but will have to beat the Bills and Jaguars to win the division.18.
Titans have a tough matchup with the Jets on Sunday, and can still get by without Tyrod Taylor.
But they’ll probably have to go to the Jaguars to avoid elimination.19.
Ravens beat up their opponent in Week 8 and won’t have much time to recover.
The Ravens are playing great defense and will need a huge performance in Week 13 to make it into the playoffs after going 5-7 the past two seasons.20.
Saints have to win in their first road game since the 2010 season to make the playoffs for the first time in nine years.
New Orleans won’t be going home to Atlanta until Week 16.21.
Panthers are going to need to take care of business against the Eagles.
They were one of those teams that just kept going, going undefeated and making the playoffs without losing a single game in the postseason.22.
Saints need to come out of the bye week strong to stay in the playoff race.
They need to beat Carolina and the Titans to make a playoff push.23.
Broncos have the best defense in the league, but still have to work hard to win this one.
Denver’s defense has allowed just 31.4 points per contest, but